heritage world cup 2021 by villas valriche-bis
Slovakia triumphs ahead of Spain and France. Experience the Heritage World Cup by Villas Valriche.
In this issue, the logbook and interviews with our Frenchmen Benjamin Mathieu and Richard Forster. See you in July 2022 for the 6th edition.
Here you are in the logbook of “THE” competition. But not just any competition, no, the 5th edition of the Heritage World Cup (formerly the Amateur Golf World Cup). France, very well represented by Benjamin Mathieu (1st series) and Richard Forster (2nd series), is once again on a mission this year. Indeed, the first place escaped us closely the two previous years, place won by Japan. The objective this year is simple, the podium but above all, to put an end to the Japanese supremacy. Spoiler it’s done, France beats Japan by climbing on the 3rd step of the podium! The Slovaks at the top (1st), the over-motivated Spaniards (2nd) will have had the better of one of the most beautiful courses in the Indian Ocean. Nestled by the sea, in the first valleys of the coast, the Heritage Resort is a jewel of beauty, quality but above all of welcome. Before you dive into this travelogue, we would like to extend our warmest thanks to all the staff at Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort, Villas Valriche, and Heritage Golf Club
On Monday evening, the temperature in Mauritius is warm, pleasant and welcoming, just like its inhabitants. The players arrive, drained from several hours of flying. The 15 nationalities observe each other over a welcome mojito, the atmosphere is light for all, amazed by the unimaginable place that welcomes us. The eyelids are soon heavy for all the newcomers, players as well as families, friends, children…
The sun is beginning to warm the Indian Ocean and the pools at the Telfair, while the players are warming up on the driving range at the Heritage Golf Club on this first morning of competition. The atmosphere seems light on the outside but it is not. This is the first day, the all-important reconnaissance round for the competitors, the only opportunity to try and get to grips with this challenging but addictive course. We see them leave with excitement, smiles and ambition in their eyes. We saw them return, their complexion dark, their eyes exhausted by all the bad moves, the traps of this course. They quickly realise that it is going to be more complex than expected. But the passion and motivation still burns brightly in their eyes. It was during the welcome ceremony that evening that we were able to see this. A colourful ceremony, in a historical setting offered by the Château, an emblematic place for Heritage.
The teams are called one by one on the stage, to be offered the competition golf bag, with the flag of their nation. Some have a concentrated look like the German team, some are passionate like Benjamin and Richard, our French representatives (our favourites honestly), some are dancing like the Rwandan team, and some are singing like the Poles, who came in 16. The party being magnificent, it is not the time to abuse the local rum or the indecently delicious ravioles, on the contrary. It’s time to condition ourselves for the first round of the championship.
First round of the stableford competition, a light rain invites itself to the party, accompanied by its great friend and regular of the island, the wind. France is placed 6th behind Japan, our great rivals (winners of 2 previous editions). A complicated start but far from being bad for us. Slovakia is already ahead in first place followed by Spain 2021.
Second round of the Heritage World Cup, and a very hot day invites the players to compete. It’s the second and last round in stableford, and Richard, our second French series, places very well in the individual ranking by starting on hole number 1 in 2nd. At the end of the day, France climbs directly to 3rd place in the overall ranking, widening the gap with 4th place, Japan. The individual ranking is closed, the last round being a scramble. Richard’s fate, until the next day, is sealed.
In the evening, the atmosphere lightened up and friendships were created between the countries. The image of the selfies between the Poles and the Ghanaians will remain engraved in our memory. In the evening, the Villas Valriche welcomes us in a superb building. Prosceco, jazz atmosphere, sunset on the ocean. The setting is idyllic for the players and their families. We discover this building plan in the heights, with breathtaking views of the golf course, the water on the horizon, the vertigo of grandeur.
The third and final round of the international amateur scramble competition, the real moment when cohesion and team spirit will take the teams to the top. Last chance, last opportunity to succeed in taming the immaculate fairways and the hyper fast greens. The course will have really played all the tricks possible to the 34 players of the Heritage World Cup. Nothing is played until the 18th hole when all the participants, families and friends of the players come to watch the last shots of the Slovaks against the Spaniards. We witnessed aggressive attacks from the Spaniards to try to catch the first place, knowing that the Slovaks were at the top. 2 balls in the water aiming for the eagle or at least the birdie. The French showed their efficiency and team spirit. Richard, for his part, made an approach to the 9-iron from over 100 metres on one of the most complicated holes. He threw his club away and jumped into Benjamin’s arms with emotion. A moment engraved in the mind of our Frenchman probably forever.
It was time to celebrate on Friday evening when the winners were announced. Some of them no longer have any hope of winning but their hearts are warm, fulfilled to be in such a beautiful setting for a week. Richard’s gaze is fixed, focused as the individual results are announced. Third place, Michal Bizon, the Slovak, second place Guillermo Mestre for Spain. Benjamin understands, jumps up and down, shakes an impassive Richard, celebrating nothing until he actually gets his name from the mouth of Mr Merven, president of the Mauritian Golf Federation. The announcement is there, the winner of the second series individual ranking is none other than our great, our fabulous, Richard Forster, having touched the top throughout the competition. Our duo thrilled us and got us a very nice 3rd place. Thank you very much to them, thank you very much to all the players for giving us a wonderful week in Mauritius. We all celebrate together until late, to say goodbye. Many bonds were formed, phone numbers exchanged. Many hugs that evening are witnesses of the friendships generated across countries with different cultures, but with a common passion, the love of the white honeycomb ball.
France – A team bronze medal and an individual world championship title
INTERVIEW RICHARD FORSTER – Individual winner 2nd series, member of the French team 2021
How does it feel to represent France? An honour and an opportunity at the same time. It’s almost incredible. You only believe in it when you have the jerseys and even then! and even now my friends are asking me if I’m a world champion? I don’t dare say yes! besides, can you confirm it for me?
You were part of the French team that played the Heritage World Cup in Mauritius last week. What are the strongest moments you remember from this tournament?
The opening ceremony with our names on the giant screen. Here we understand that it’s going to start (the covid had been blocking us for 2 years!)
The departures with the announcement of our names for the French TEAM. The good stress that makes you play well, and we play in pairs, there was a team spirit like in CO sports.
Just the warm up on the driving range, we were treated like the pros. The beautiful games, and the friendly courtesy with Japan but also with Cote d’ivoire with whom we are already in contact and why not meet on a course halfway (I challenge them live!!)!
The prize-giving ceremony where I discovered that I was the winner of the second series: thus world champion!
Your memories are also sporting: how did you play this beautiful course? You even won the individual title
What a beautiful and well prepared course, what a quality fairway! Beautiful and I think it will stay in my memory for a long time. I can see every hole again. Because with my teammate we studied it during two reconnaissance rounds.
I would have liked to play better, I thought I could. Because the course is beautiful, wide and long. It’s easy to get trapped by three factors: ambition, wind and greens. We are sheltered behind the vegetation and the wind at the top has an effect. Then the greens, in 2 hours, the roll changes with the sun and the wind. And if it rains we return to the tee immediately. Then the slopes!!! Ah we guess them, we see them, then when we putt our certainties disappear to leave a very straight ball roll but next to the hole!
What are the wishes for the next edition ? What would you say to French-speaking golfers interested in participating in the Heritage World Cup?
Go for it! You’re in for a pleasant surprise.
INTERVIEW WITH BENJAMIN MATHIEU – 3rd by team
Benjamin Mathieu: “an unforgettable week, perfect organisation, the honour of carrying the French flag
Benjamin Mathieu is 40 years old, teaches law at the University and is a lawyer. He plays golf on the courses in Yvelines; he is one of the two Frenchmen who defended the French colours at the Heritage World Cup final in Mauritius. He tells us about his experience.
“It was an unforgettable week! Everything was perfect: the organisation, the course, the sky, the table, the relationships between players from all countries, the atmosphere… Really unforgettable.
But let’s go back to the beginning: before arriving in Mauritius, I had participated – a bit by chance – in the first qualification phase on the Isle-Adam golf course, then in the regional qualifications and finally in the final on the Saint-Malo golf course in October 2019. The pandemic forced the officials to cancel the international final scheduled for June 2020. The Club Golf then sent us a message of rare elegance: the tournament was not cancelled – which we would have all understood and accepted – but simply postponed.
What do I remember about this week? First of all, the excellence of the course. The course was perfect from tee to green. The remarkable upkeep highlighted a layout as I like them, i.e. frank and varied. The result often came down to the second shot: the green attacks on the par 4s are a real challenge and the strategic options on the par 5s are varied. In addition, the wind, often strong, could complicate each of these shots. The elevated and often flat greens offered slopes that were not always easy to read but their quality meant that a good putter was always rewarded. To crown it all, the views of the sea and the tropical nature were splendid…
Finally, you should know that when you wear the French flag on your polo shirt, you get caught up in the game: the pressure and the honour are there! To be announced at the start of the first hole by the announcer as “representing France” has its effect: legs that tremble a little but also an immense pleasure. Pure happiness”.
© Louis Ravon for the summary and Jean Lagarde for the interviews